Get yer lugs around these...
1. Jimmy Forrest –‘Night Train’ (1952)
The Night Train James Brown boarded, here in its original winding version. Some say Forrest pinched the tune from his former bandleader Duke Ellington (‘Happy-Go-Lucky Local’). You can hear it but you can follow these things back to banging rocks if you try hard enough. If Led Zeppelin wanna employ me in court with that as a defence I’ll cut ‘em a decent rate.
2. Miles Davis – ‘Miles Ahead’ (1957)
Watched the new Miles Ahead film yesterday. The mix of fact and fiction didn’t bother me like I thought it would - it’s easy to differentiate, even to folks with little knowledge of the subject – and the selective non-linear telling worked well. Don Cheadle was believable as Miles (I’m now only gonna talk in a husky whisper) but Ewan McGregor’s role (and his acting) was such bullshit and naff it spoilt what had a makings of a decent film. Three stars from Barry Norman here.
3. Johnny Griffin Orchestra – ‘Wade In The Water’ (1960)
Opener from tenor saxophonist Griffin’s does-what-it-says-on-the-sleeve, The Big Soul Band, LP. Gospel, jazz and soul all in one, well, Big Soul Band. Great track, great album.
4. Keith Relf – ‘Mr Zero’ (1966)
Solo Yardbird 45 written by Bob Lind has a wordy “left the cake out in the rain” feel to it. Scraped to number 50 fifty years ago.
5. Butterfield Blues Band – ‘Nut Popper #1’ (1964)
Mike Bloomfield tears it up on guitar but it’s Paul Butterfield himself who steals the show on his driving harp led instrumental from an Elektra session only weeks after the band’s formation.
6. Brother Jack McDuff – ‘Butter (For Yo Popcorn)’ (1969)
Not your popcorn, but yo popcorn. Word.
7. Steve Davis – ‘Lalune Blanche’ (1970)
No, not him off the snooks but another one singing in French and playing organ. Got George Clinton on vibraphone too, no not him off the Mothership but another one. It’s all very confusing but very laid-back cool too.
8. The Auteurs – ‘How Can I Be Wrong’ (1993)
I think the combination of them being blown away at early gigs by Suede and Luke Haines’s shit hair meant I practically ignored the Auteurs during the 90s. However, since reading Haines’s very funny account of those days in his Bad Vibes and watching the documentary Art Will Save The World I’ve dipped my toe in their debut – and Mercury Prize runner-up – New Wave and it’s, surprisingly, almost as good as he claims.
9. Charles Bradley – ‘Ain’t It A Sin’ (2016)
Good God! Charlie attempts to lead a righteous life while cutting some serious rug to this frugging chugger.
10. The See No Evils – ‘That’s Right With Me’ (2016)The See No Evils’ Inner Voices is the best straight-ahead garage LP I’ve heard for many a years and the wild Pretty Things rave-up of ‘That’s Right With Me’ exemplifies their approach.